Student Return to Campus Protocols | OCTC

Student Return to Campus Protocols

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has created significant health risks for some populations. In alignment with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Governor of Kentucky and the State Health Department, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has developed and established safety protocols to assist its colleges in maintaining safe working and learning environments. These protocols outline additional precautions for student, employee, and community safety.

Students and Covid-19

Students must be aware of and work with faculty, staff, and administration during these extraordinary times as required by the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct, Article II, Section 3, Standard 2.4, and the Appendix, entitled Crisis or Emergency Plans, Protocols and Guidance.

NOTE:  FOR THE PURPOSES OF KCTCS PROTOCOLS IN THIS DOCUMENT, QUARANTINE MEANS TO STAY OFF-CAMPUS OR OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR THE SPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME.  While we advise you to follow the CDC guidelines as outlined below, we have no authority over your actions while not on KCTCS property.

Quarantine Protocols due to Exposure

Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet* of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated.

People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.

*NOTE:  For KCTCS the “within 6 feet” guideline should be used for anyone reporting a possible exposure off campus/outside of work.  If the exposure is due to an on-campus exposure (i.e. a classroom or office area) then the determination for those that need to quarantine can be anyone that was within 3 feet of the positive case individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during that day.  Your Healthy at Work Officer will make that determination.

What to do if you are NOT fully vaccinated

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19 and monitor for symptoms.
  • Watch for fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
Accommodating Health Department Guidance

Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later from exposure date)

Monitoring and Reporting Symptoms

  • Anyone experiencing the following symptoms must stay away from Campus:
  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher
  • Chills or Sweating (regardless of actual temperature rating)
  • New Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Sore Throat
  • Muscle aches, body aches
  • Stomach upset or vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Link to current CDC list of symptoms
Students who experience any of the symptoms outlined above, should seek a COVID-19 test if possible. While awaiting test results and/or if instructed to self- isolate, students must:
  • Contact your instructor(s) immediately to report that you are experiencing COVID-19
  • Contact a health department official or other healthcare provider
    • If you experience these symptoms due to another condition or illness, such as allergies, food poisoning, etc. and symptoms subside without treatment within 24 hours, you may choose to return to class/campus. (“Treatment” does not include over-the-counter pain medication, antacids, etc. or medicine regularly taken as prescribed by your healthcare provider.)
    • You will need to complete the self-certification form by selecting the first option.
  • Stay off campus until it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared, it has been 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and COVID –19 symptoms have improved.
    • NOTE: People who are severely ill and/or hospitalized with COVID-19 or have a severely weakened immune system may need to stay home between 10 and 20 days after symptoms first appeared. Consult your healthcare provider for more

Return to Campus

Before returning to campus, students must complete and submit one of the following acceptable documents to their instructor(s) and the College’s Healthy at Work Officer:

  • Complete the Self-Certification Form (pdf) - This form may include an electronic signature and must be sent by the student using their email account
    • Have quarantined for 14 days (unless reduced by the health department) and have not developed any symptoms 
    • Certify that you are no longer experiencing symptoms of or similar to COVID-19
    • Certify that it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and COVID-19 symptoms have improved
  • Doctor's Certification verifying that the student sought medical attention and is not experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or
  • Local Health Department Documentation indicating the student tested positive and was given an end date for self-isolation period

Return to Class

Instructors are not obligated to provide an opportunity for completing makeup assignments unless students submit one of the appropriate documents as described above. Faculty will work with administration to ensure students will have a safe, productive, and appropriate return to classrooms. 

In summary

    • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they shall follow their health department isolation order.
    • If a student is exposed to COVID-19, they shall quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure unless they have been fully vaccinated or directed otherwise by the health department.
    • If a student has symptoms, the student shall quarantine until symptoms resolve plus 24 hours (minimum of 10 days) or until released by their physician.